If you happen to be in Antwerp, Belgium this summer, make sure to check out "Badboot" (previously on Bustler), the world's largest floating open-air swimming pool, which opened this week. At an overall length of 120 meters (394 feet), the lido is capable of receiving up to 600 people at two event halls, a swimming pool and a restaurant with a lounge terrace, which are all open to the public.
Badboot is located in Kattendijk Dock in Antwerp’s Eilandje district (map) and open daily from 10am until 10pm (Saturdays until 6pm). In the winter months, the swimming pool will be turned into an ice skating rink.
Project Description from the Organizers:
Shipbuilder HSS BV from Maasbracht (NL) started on the construction of this gigantic project on 1 February 2012 and succeeded in completing it within the agreed time frame of six months. Quite an amazing feat. Thanks to the expertise of swimming pool builder, KJ-Pools and Gstyle Systems swimmers feel as if they are swimming in the dock’s water. And yet the swimming pool is about 70 cm above the dock’s water level. Klimaplan BVBA ensured that the pool’s water is maintained at a pleasant temperature of 28 to 29 degrees centigrade thanks to a heat pump. Given the Belgian weather conditions the pool will be converted into an ice skating rink during the winter months.
The water-purifying reed bed on board the Badboot is unique in Europe: it is the first actively aerated reed bed in open air on the European continent. The waste water of the showers, toilets, the restaurant kitchen and the swimming pool’s wash are purified thanks to the reed bed which was developed in the frame of a partnership with an American company, Naturally Wallace. It was built by RietLand bvba. Here environmental care is associated with aesthetic appeal: the entire reed bed is fitted with design lighting, which makes for a lovely view from the restaurant. In other words, a visit to the Badboot is a guarantee for an enjoyable and ecological swimming experience in stunning design surroundings.
The Badboot logo’s is reflected in the Badboot’s interior: the interior is mainly white, but the furniture uses navy blue and bright red as a contrasting colour. “We also used wood to underscore the ship experience”, says architect, Pieter Peerlings. The design furniture in the restaurant and the maintenance- friendly plastic deck furniture by Saelens Furniture all contribute to the boat’s pared down, functional and authentic look and feel. The pool showers were supplied by design brand Hansgrohe. They are equipped with the EcoSmart system, meaning they consume up to 60% less water, without visitors noticing.
The boat is mainly lit with LEDs. The Badboot team worked with Modular Lighting Instruments, the manufacturer of edgy, architectural lighting solutions. The brand manufactured energy-friendly lighting which also looks trendy. Modular is a pioneer in led lighting. By using led instead of halogens, the Badboot is able to save up to 85 % energy.
The City of Antwerp is the Badboot’s official patron. This is symbolised at the opening by the fact that 100 Antwerp children will take the first dive to inaugurate the pool and the ship will be baptised by one of these children. The child will be wearing Mayor Patrick Janssens’s sash for this occasion. “We are delighted that the city has accepted this symbolic patronage. This patronage transcends the (political) individual and symbolises all of Antwerp’s municipal services that are involved in the Badboot’s operation in one way or another: the police, the fire department, the port personnel and the personnel of the Antwerp Planning Authority”, says Philip De Prest, the co-owner of the Badboot. “The collaboration with the utility companies, like Infrax and Pidpa, was also quite smooth.” Other companies that contributed to the project include ASS (steel), Loggere, AB-Inbev, Coca-Cola, Bacardi-Martini and Total Concept. A reproduction of the “Port of Antwerp in 2008” by Antwerp painter Willem Dolphyn has also been incorporated in the interior.
All images courtesy of King George.